WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

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WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

Postby wrcstl » Fri May 12, 2006 10:29 am

With all the controversy on the '99 vintage recently I decided to open a bottle and see for myself. I splash poured two large glasses, set one aside and started on the other one. Initially the wine showed nothing, non-descript, tight, unyielding. There was obviously a dark fruit core and the real plus was no dominant oak. As I finished the first glass, about 1/2 hour, the wine was beginning to open up. Over the next 1/2 hour I drank the second glass. Have to admit to being impressed as everything that seemed hidden initially came to the front. The wine remained restrained but showed complex flavors of dark berries without any overiding sweetness, classic Bordeaux. The oak remained integrated and balanced and tannins did show themselves on the finish. I obviously cannot make a living as a wine reviewer but this wine has a future and one I want in my cellar. My guess in another 2-3 years it will open up and begin drinking well. Since this was a recent purchase I plan on going by and getting the last few bottles and imagine it to be very pleasant for at least another 10+ years. I tend to driink my bordeaux classic in style and with quite a bit of bottle age. If you like a big fruit style and very forward Bordeaux this may not be for you. In general I have been impressed with the '99 vintage, something like '89 but with less weight. The low acicity may keep it from being a 20+ year vintage but still one that will reward cellaring.
Walt
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Re: WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

Postby Bruce K » Fri May 12, 2006 11:16 am

Great notes, thanks. I had a half-bottle just a week ago and also enjoyed it after some air. I think my impressions were pretty similar, though I did notice a bit of oak at first. Like you, I has the sense that, despite the reputation of '99s as being early drinkers, this had the potential to improve with another couple of years. Unfortunately, it was my only bottle. :cry:
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Re: WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

Postby Dale Williams » Fri May 12, 2006 1:21 pm

wrcstl wrote:With all the controversy on the '99 vintage


Walt, thanks for the notes. I wasn't aware of any controversy re the '99s (unless you mean Otto and I disagreeing on the ageability of Gruaud, which afterall is one wine). Pretty much everyone I know agrees it's a midweight vintage with medium tannins and relatively low acidity. I guess the only controversy is whether one feels it's worth buying. Certainly some people feel its only worthwhile buying the"best" vintages. I love finding the vintages I think are undervalued.

The Clos du Marquis sounds like classic St Julien. I really liked the LLC, too, and think maybe St Julien did the best of the Medoc appellations.

As to aging, as you say it depends a lot on preferences. I basically think of my '99s in a few categories:

OK, Ready to go (but will hold a few years)
Gloria
du Tertre

Very Good, Ready (but will hold)
La Fleur de Boüard
Roc de Cambes

Tasty now, but likely to improve a bit
Léoville Poyferré
Lynch-Bages
Pavie Macquin
Sociando-Mallet

Not so tasty, I hope will improve
Quinault L'Enclos

Need time, great potential, revisit in 5-10 years
Léoville Las Cases
Montrose

I may have to grab some CdM if I see below $30.
Thanks for notes.
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Re: WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

Postby Jenise » Fri May 12, 2006 1:32 pm

Walt, your note makes me very happy! I picked up a handful of these for peanuts awhile back after being wowed by the 88 and impressed enough with a number of 99's. Considering the relative youth of my cellar, a vintage like 99 that's delish and WON'T be a 20 year wine is quite desirable.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

Postby Marc D » Fri May 12, 2006 1:32 pm

To add 2 more to Dale's list that I recently tried, the '99 Leoville Barton is very concentrated and packed with flavor and structure and I guess would fit in the revisit in 5-10 year category. A '99 Clerc Milon last week showed up very nicely with some Pauillac cigar box and cedar, dry, soft cassis fruit, medium body but firm tannins. There was initially some plum flavors but I also noted a touch of greeness in the midpalate, which added interest for me as it was subtle. It was very enjoyable after a short decant, and I would put it into the tasty now but likely to improve a bit category.
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Re: WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

Postby wrcstl » Fri May 12, 2006 1:44 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Pretty much everyone I know agrees it's a midweight vintage with medium tannins and relatively low acidity. I guess the only controversy is whether one feels it's worth buying. Certainly some people feel its only worthwhile buying the"best" vintages. I love finding the vintages I think are undervalued.


Dale,
Guess I was responding to Otto and the Gruaud but my palate appears to go more towards the less popular vintages. I love '94, '99 and '01. I will drink all of my '00 out of someone elses cellar as I hear them brag about the high scores. I did break down and purchase Giscours and Meyney from 2000. Don't doubt there were some great wines produced then but they are too fruit driven for my preference and way too expensive.
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Re: WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

Postby Jenise » Fri May 12, 2006 1:44 pm

Marc, agree with your assessment about the L-B. It's one of my favorites of that vintage so far. In fact, I'd call it my co-favorite with the Palmer of the very few I've opened so far.

Adding to Dale's list: the Cheval Blanc is locked down tight, it could take a decade to show anything at all. The Monbousquet, which showed well early, was tight when I took it to a dinner party about a month ago--didn't open up at all. I'll wait a minimum of 2-3 years for the next one.
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Re: WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

Postby Dale Williams » Fri May 12, 2006 3:37 pm

Jenise et al,
I agree the LB and Palmer are up there as candidates for "wines of the vintage" (unfortunately, I didn't buy in time before everyone else decided the same thing, and now it's pretty much $100+).

Walt,
I own almost as many 2001s as 2000s , but probably more classed growths in 2001 (the great thing imho about 2000 was how well the petit chateaux and satellites did). I appreciate multiple styles of vintages- whether the austere '94s, the bigger fruitier '00s, or the friendly midweight '99s or '01s (I think the latter will be longer-lived than the former in general). They each have a place in my cellar, at least for a while.

cheers!
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Re: WTN: '99 Clos du Marquis

Postby wrcstl » Fri May 12, 2006 4:28 pm

Dale,
I agree with you on '99 & '01 and probably '01 will live longer. Bought Lynch Bages, Talbot, Gruaud, GPL, Leoville Poyfere and de Sales (can't pass up a $20 known '01). I am expecting to be drinking them at my retirement condo along with my '86 Mouton.
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